Caleb Williams throws four touchdown passes to help USC defeat California

Caleb Williams back to pass in the pocket. (Photo by William Johnson / fi360 News)

Los Angeles, CA – What looked to be a blowout turned into a close game as the USC defense gave up 469 total yards and 28 second-half points to California.

USC star quarterback Caleb Williams wouldn’t let the No. 9 Trojans lose after throwing four
touchdown passes and rushing for another score in a 41-35 win over California Saturday night
at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Photo by William Johnson / fi360 News

The Trojans were without starting wide receivers Jordan Addison and Mario Williams but
Micheal Jackson III stepped up with 115 yards and two touchdowns. Tahj Washington finished
with seven receptions for 112 yards and a touchdown while running back Travis Dye added 98
yards on 15 carries and a score to help USC improve to 8-1.

“The reality is this team is 8-1 with everything in front of us.” said USC coach Lincoln Riley.

Photo by William Johnson / fi360 News

Jaydn Ott gave California a 7-0 lead on its opening drive with a 10-yard touchdown run. USC
answered on the ensuing possession with a 10-play, 72-yard drive that was capped by a 1-yard
touchdown run from Williams.

USC took a 13-7 lead in the second quarter on Dye’s 12-yard run. After the Trojans intercepted
Jake Plummer, Williams hit Jackson III for a 7-yard touchdown and a 20-7 with 53 seconds left
in the second quarter.

On the opening possession of the third quarter, Williams connected with Jackson III once again,
this time for a 59-yard touchdown. California cut the lead 27-14 when Plummer found Monroe
Young for a 2-yard touchdown.

Photo by William Johnson / fi360 News

Williams gave USC a 34-14 lead after throwing an 8-yard touchdown pass to Washington.
California opened the fourth quarter with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Plummer to Marvin
Anderson. Plummer passed for 406 yards and three touchdowns.

“We didn’t play our best,” said coach Riley, “Really on any of the sides.”

California recovered an onside kick and Jeremiah Hunter scored from 3 yards out to cut the
Trojans lead 34-27 with 9:00 left in the fourth quarter. USC tight end Lake McRee caught a 2-
yard touchdown to extend the Trojans lead 41-27.

Photo by William Johnson / fi360 News

California played hard until the end and used a 12-play, 85-yard drive to get to the USC 4-yard
line where Ott scored to cut the lead 41-35 with 2:31 left in the fourth quarter.